It’s around midnight and Nairobi is cold as hell. It’s been raining and you know how she turns on you once it pours. It’s cold and empty give a few askaris that are yet to sleep and your usual skimpily dressed mamas looking to make a buck before the sun knocks. The cold doesn’t scare them, it’s good for business.
She clutches at her black trench coat as if to refrain the heat from leaving her body. Not that she’s cold, but scared. She’s heard stories and they are not pretty. This is the third time this week she’s had to be in town this late. Grateful that her matatu route operates 24hours for she cannot afford cab fare. She hates it. She hasn’t had anything all day and she’s thirsty. She can’t afford to buy a bottle of water given the hiked fares at this time of night. She walks towards Beba Beba in a hurry. She can hear footsteps behind her but scared to look back. She increases her speed but they keep coming. She feels the urge to bolt into a run but she is too tired. She walks fast as the steps get faster and closer. She is sure they are coming for her. She gathers all her strength and bolts into a run and the steps do the same. This is the home run. All she needs to do is take the Imenti turn and she’ll be directly facing Beba Beba. The makangas at the stage will discourage whoever is running after her.
She runs past the street family sleeping on cardboard boxes outside what is a movie shop during the day. The Imenti house stretch seems longer than usual as the corner seems to be moving farther as she edges closer. Just then, a man appears at the corner. He seems to be carrying something big on one arm. The steps slow down. He must be afraid. She feels a bit relaxed but she does not slow down. She finally gets to the corner and the man was a cop. A man in blue. She stops next to him and complains about someone following her. She looks back and there’s no one. He asks her to follow him to try find this so-called runner. She does. They walk back, but she can’t see anyone. Maybe he crossed the road or walked away after noticing the cop.
The alley is dark and smell like shit. Actual human shit. It’s clear she has stepped on some but who has time to think about shit with a 90kgs man pressing himself on you. Forcing his way into places untouched. He mocks her. Asking if she likes it. The protector turns predator. It was not a home run, she had walked right into the lion’s den. He finishes his business and advices her to stick to Koinange.
She walks on set at 6am, day four and counting. There’s laughter everywhere. Film makers know how to have fun. They care. Weird no one has noticed her black eye.